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Sweden battles oil spill after ferry runs aground

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Sweden’s coastguard said yesterday it was working to clean up a large oil spill in the Baltic Sea after a passenger ferry ran aground over the weekend.

“We know that the spill currently stretches over five kilometres out at sea,” Erik Svensson, who was coordinating the clean-up operation, said in a statement.

The coastguard said it was working to clean up the oil spill and launching a criminal investigation to determine the cause of the accident and subsequent leak.

The Marco Polo TT-Line passenger ferry got stuck after running aground south of Karlshamn on Sunday and the vessel’s 75 passengers were safely evacuated.

Swedish Coast Guard press secretary Mattias Lindholm told AFP it was still “working to clarify the course of events”.

“The ship ran aground and then continued for a few miles and in the meantime leaked oil until it then ran aground again and that is where it remains today,” he said.

Authorities were still trying to determine exactly how much oil had spilled from the ship.

“We have so far recovered two cubic metres of oil and are currently working on an estimate based on the aerial observation,” Svensson said.